News article

Dutch enforcement of handheld phone use is at the forefront in Europe

The Netherlands is at the forefront in Europe when it comes to monitoring phone use in traffic. SWOV draws this cautious conclusion in the report Enforcement of the ban on handheld phone use; a look behind the scenes in the Netherlands and abroad (in Dutch with English summary).

Distraction in traffic is one of the enforcement priorities in the Netherlands, which enables the police to focus on monitoring smartphone use not only among motorists, but also among cyclists. Furthermore, Dutch legislation is clear and unambiguous from a legal and enforcement point of view. Since 2019, it has been made explicit that the ban covers not only the holding of a phone, but also the holding of other mobile electronic devices, such as a navigation system, a tablet or a music player.

SWOV explored methods to enforce the ban on mobile phone use among motorists as well as cyclists and identified expected new (technological) developments. In the report, SWOV recommends that the use of the existing enforcement methods, i.e. police surveillance and camera-based enforcement should be continued, and supported by communication via the media, among others. SWOV also recommends investing in new technologies such as the development of ‘smarter’ cameras with which violations can be detected.


Risks, Technology & ITS, Enforcement